A surface grinder is a machine tool that is used in the cutting, grinding and polishing processes. Surfaces can be prepared by abrasives, abrasive materials or by grinding. A rotating diamond sawing wheel with abrasive balls at the riding edges is one of the most efficient means of cutting surfaces and the best way to grind metal. It can be operated by manual pressure or by electrical motor.
Vertical grinders are used in grinding and polishing wheel processes and are commonly found in factories and workshops. They are designed to provide a permanent, uniform grind even after many hundreds of grindings and are ideal for workpieces with intricate patterns. A vertical spindle fitted with a chuck and a blade moves in an arc or circle at the same time. The blade and the grinding wheel are in a position above the workpiece and the work surface respectively. Grinding can also be done on a table top grinders.
Cylindrically shaped grinding tools are available as vertical, horizontal, cylindrical and ovular grinding tools. The cylindrical type of surface grinder has a grinding head made out of a cone-shaped steel rod that rotates on two parallel axes. The most popular types of ovular grinding tools are those with a grinding disk situated between two rotating diamond discs. The most common type of grinding process used in table-top units is the cross-cut method in which the grinding head is made out of a cylindrical steel rod guided by a diamond cutting wheel with twelve teeth at the edges.
A major advantage of using a surface grinder is that a fine polish or surface finish can be applied to a workpiece after the workpiece has been ground. The workpiece is then polished to remove any residual irregularities. The process of grinding can be completed faster in surface grinders than in stand grinders due to the smaller size of the workpiece. It is however recommended to ensure that the surface grinders are well oiled to ensure that the oil solution stays in the tool and does not seep out through the holes or cracks. A number of grinding wheels are designed specifically for use in electrical wire feeders.
Another type of surface grinder is the chuck. Known as a rotating metal slip jack, a chuck is designed to handle very heavy metal pieces such as assemblies or plates. A typical chuck system consists of one or more stationary shafts with a fixed chuck position and a number of adjustable slides. These slides enable the operator to adjust the height of the mounted chuck and set the level of the work piece being ground.
In some industries, the use of a surface grinder is essential. For example, the manufacture of cast iron products requires compressive force applied to metal pieces by compressing the alloy into mold cavities. This method of working requires that an abrasive material such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide is added to the work piece in the mold. Surface grinders can be used to apply this material quickly and evenly. Some grinding systems may also incorporate a tumbling process which involves rapidly spinning a grinding wheel at extremely high speeds to agitate abrasive materials.